The Fruits Of A Failed Welfare System

Our government welfare system has failed. It has destroyed the black family and undermined the white family. It has trapped many people into poverty that they are not able to escape. It has convinced many talented and capable people that they cannot be successful and left them poor and discouraged. It has also created in some people the idea that they are entitled. To what are they entitled? Anything they think they should have.

I attended a meeting tonight where one of the issues was collection of electric bills. About six percent of the residents of the city involved are seriously delinquent in payment of their electric bills. Since the electric bills are part of the city government, the city is making an effort to collect some of the debt. The proposed method of collection involves deposits to be paid over a period of time and payment of overdue bills. The alternative method would be to forgive the debt and raise the rates on everyone–including the people who routinely pay their bills.

The meeting was packed with people complaining that they could not pay their electric bills or the deposit and did not want their electricity turned off. It really doesn’t work that way. We have government programs that provide a safety net for poor people. We provide food stamps, public housing, rent assistance, etc.

I have run out of patience. I am reminded of the book “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” by Laura Numeroff.

Wikipedia describes the book:

The book is known for its playful, circular pattern. A boy gives a cookie to a mouse. The mouse asks for a glass of milk. He then requests a straw (to drink the milk), a mirror (to avoid a milk mustache), nail scissors (to trim his hair), and a broom (to sweep up). Next he wants to take a nap, to have a story read to him, to draw a picture, and to hang the drawing on the refrigerator. Looking at the refrigerator makes him thirsty, so the mouse asks for a glass of milk. The circle is complete when he wants a cookie to go with it.

I do have compassion for the poor, but I am not convinced that anything we are currently doing to help them is actually helpful. There are many poor people who are very capable of success. Somehow we have to teach them this and give them the tools to achieve success. The War on Poverty has created generations of people who, because they are paid to do nothing, are denied the opportunity to accomplish something. That needs to end.

Some Common Sense In The Gun Debate

This is a video of Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey. The video was posted at

This is what the Mayor said:

To me, the data should drive our decision making. So I know, I’m not afraid of people having guns who are law abiding citizens. In the analysis of gun murders and shootings in my city, I could only find one in the entire time I’ve been mayor – and unfortunately there have been hundreds and hundreds – where a person who was involved in a shooting where they had their gun legally, where they legally acquired their gun. The guns that are causing carnage in our cities, my city and our country, every single year are acquired illegally.

Newark, New Jersey, is the second largest city in the New York metropolitan area.

Wikipedia gives us a picture of crime in the city:

In 1996, Time magazine ranked Newark “The Most Dangerous City in the Nation.” By 2007, however, the city recorded a total of 99 homicides for the year, representing a significant drop from the record of 161 murders set in 1981. The number of murders in 2008 dropped to 65, a decline of 30% from the previous year and the lowest in the city since 2002 when there were also 65 murders.

In 2011, Newark recorded 90 homicides, after experiencing 86 homicides in 2010. Overall, there was a 6% increase in crime numbers over the previous year, including a rise in carjackings for the third straight year. Along with the increase in crime, the Newark Police Department increased its recovery of illegally owned guns in 2011 to 696, up from 278 in 2010.

After being forced to lay off 162 officers due to economic reasons in 2010, the NPD was able to rehire eight of those officers in 2012, with plans for another 17 rehires later in the year.

Mayor Booker was elected in 2006. He is an inspiring mayor to watch–recently he rescued a young woman from a burning building and came to the aid of a dog that had been left out in the extreme cold. We need more mayors (and people involved in politics) like Mayor Booker–he tells the truth and does what’s right!

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Why Wikipedia Is Blacked Out Today

This is what you will see when to go to Wikipedia today:

For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. Learn more.

The U.K. Telegraph posted a story today about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). Congress will be voting on the bill today. The intentions of SOPA are valid–stop the piracy of intellectual private property–it’s just that Congress, as usual, has gone overboard.

The Telegraph reports:

Spurred on by big media companies, the latest effort by governments to stamp out piracy comes in the form of two bills from the US Congress: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

According to these acts, if a US site (or a foreign site that has its domain name registered in the US) is found to be “committing or facilitating the commission” of copyright infringment, then, on the request of a rights holder, it is subject to seizure in a way that many scholars believe violates due process, depriving people of a fair hearing and suppressing free speech.

One of the major problems with SOPA is the lack of due process. Unfortunately, our current Justice Department has a very uneven record on law enforcement–prosecutions often have a political aspect (Fast and Furious, Black Panther voter intimidation, the list goes on). Do we really want to give the government the power to shut down an Internet site? Will SOPA prevent me from quoting the sites I reference? Will SOPA allow the government to shut down any site that disagrees with the administration politically? There are simply too many unanswered questions.

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